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Alex B Cann at the movies: Next Goal Wins and Night Swim

I'm seeing One Life after this week's newspaper goes to press, but I'm really looking forward to it, based on the reviews. I'll have the verdict on that next week, along with The Beekeeper and The Boys In The Boat.

This week, I treated myself to a double bill of Next Goal Wins and Night Swim. I wish I'd taken an early bath and skipped the latter, which is an early contender for worst movie of the year!

First, let us start with the positive. Next Goal Wins is based on a true story of the American Samoa soccer team, who got hammered 31-0 by Australia in 2001, and recruit a new coach (Michael Fassbender) in a bid to turn their fortunes around. It's a fact-based sports comedy with its heart in the right place, and whilst its humour is mostly of the gentle variety, I really enjoyed watching this one.

It seems a lot of critics haven't been as kind, but I'm a sucker for an underdog story, and for me this one hit the back of the net. No more awful sports puns, I promise.

How can a horror film about a haunted swimming pool go wrong? Well, I watched the trailer for Night Swim and suspected it might be pretty awful, and I certainly wasn't wrong. A late festive turkey, or a very early one for next Christmas, and it rarely gets out of the shallow end.

A few good creepy shots of swimming in the ancient pool, fed by an old spring that was there long before the housing estate was built, and a toy boat bobbing about invitingly on the surfact of the water. However, the jump scares must have been signposted, as I am usually the jumpiest person in the cinema, and at no point did I nearly spill my drink! There's only so much you can do I guess within the parameters of a swimming pool, and here's hoping it stays filled in, and they are not tempted to get the pool guy in to facilitate a sequel. Terrible.

Also out this weekend, Emma Stone stars in the off-the-wall Poor Things, which looks excellent from the teaser trailer. It's along the same quirky lines as The Lobster, a film from 2016 which I absolutely loved, and incidentally is showing on Film4 this weekend, if you fancy setting the VCR.

And a quick word on the Golden Globe Awards...the big winner of the night was Oppenheimer, picking up five awards in total, including much-deserved accolades for director Christopher Nolan (a real ambassador for cinema in all of its wonderful formats) and Cillian Murphy, whose performance was breathtakingly brilliant. Pleased to see one of my favourite ten films of 2023, Anatomy Of A Fall, pick up a couple of awards too. It deserved a lot more love when out last year, and I'd urge you to give it a watch on Prime Video or Apple TV. It's ace. Happy film watching!

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